Internal Medicine

Providing treatment for diseases of the organ systems

Our small animal internal medicine service specializes in caring for pets that are suffering from diseases that involve the body’s systems and organs.

This includes:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Kidney and urinary disease
  • Infectious and autoimmune diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Multi-systemic illnesses

 

As part of the hospital, this service is able to perform in-house MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, contrast radiography and other diagnostic testing to help determine what is going on with your pet.

Internal medicine cases tend to be complicated, so your pet may need to spend the night with us as part of their initial appointment to give us time to complete all necessary diagnostics.

 

We offer:

Bone marrow sampling

Blood product transfusions

Continuous interstitial glucose monitoring

This is a great way to perform glucose curves to monitor insulin therapy and can be done at home. Blood glucose values are measured every 5 minutes for up to 5 days. CIGM and other diagnostic and treatment options for diabetes are offered through the hospital’s diabetes clinic, which is part of the internal medicine service.

Feeding tube placement and management

Feeding tubes are most commonly used on the Small Animal Internal Medicine service to support ill patients while they recover from a temporary illness. These tubes are tolerated remarkably well and can ensure that your pet receives its full food and water requirements during the important recuperation period. Animals are still able to eat and drink with them in place and so they are used to transition ill pets back into their usual feeding routines. Feeding tubes can also make it easier to give multiple oral medications in pets with long-term diseases. These tubes are placed under general anesthesia. An esophageal feeding tube (also known as an E-tube) is placed through the skin and into the esophagus. These are typically used for days to weeks. A stomach tube (sometimees called PEG tube or G-tube) can be placed through the body wall directly into the stomach using endoscopic equipment, thus avoiding the need for surgery. These tubes have to stay in place for a minimum of two weeks, but may remain in place for life. The most common complication of feeding tubes is infection at the tube site. Therefore owners need to change their pets’ bandages every 1-2 days and monitor their insertion sites. Special collars can be used in place of bandage material, making maintenance of these tubes at home even easier.

Minimally invasive procedures

We offer a wide range of minimally invasive procedures, including interventional radiology, to treat various respiratory, urinary, gastrointestinal, liver and vascular diseases.

Nutrition consultations

Dr. Bartges, a member of our internal medicine team, provides consultations on nutrition in health and on the nutritional management of diseases. This includes obesity management, homemade diet formulation, critical care nutrition, and commercial diet recommendations for dogs and cats who are healthy or have various metabolic problems. Learn more

Radioiodine therapy (I-131) for hyperthyroid cats

Radioactive iodine (131I) treatment is a safe and highly effective method of treating hyperthyroidism in cats. It involves a single injection of 131I given under the skin. The iodine is taken up by the thyroid tissue where it releases radiation resulting in destruction of the diseased thyroid tissue. After treatment, your pet will be housed in a special isolation suite until radiation levels are low enough for him or her to go home. On your initial visit, one of our Small Animal Internal Medicine doctors will examine your cat and discuss the procedure in depth with you. In order to determine whether 131I is a safe and appropriate treatment for your cat, blood and urine testing are recommended before treatment begins. Based on our evaluation of your pet, we may also recommend imaging studies. A single 131I treatment is curative in over 95% of cats with essentially no negative side effects.

Rigid and flexible endoscopy

Endoscopy refers to a procedure that allows visualization of structures and organs within the body without surgery. Endoscopy is performed using a scope that is composed of a flexible or rigid tube and a mini camera which both projects video to a television screen and allows us to record videos or still pictures.

Endoscopic procedures are named according to the organ system that is being investigated. Some examples include:

  • Bronchoscopy – Investigation of the lower airways
  • Cystoscopy – Investigation of the urinary tract and bladder
  • Gastroscopy – Investigation of the stomach
  • Enteroscopy – Investigation of the gastrointestinal tract (including stomach, small intestine, and colon)
  • Rhinoscopy – Investigation of the nasal passages

Endoscopy is used as a diagnostic tool, both to see the insides of specific structures in the body, and also to obtain tissue, cell or fluid samples for further analysis. Furthermore, endoscopic procedures can be used to remove potentially obstructive objects from the nose, esophagus or stomach or to remove stones from the urinary bladder.

Endoscopy also has the advantage of evaluating regions of the body that were historically difficult to investigate surgically, including the nasal passages and lungs. Endoscopic procedures are commonly performed in the human medical field. In veterinary medicine, endoscopy is now being used for many procedures that once required more invasive surgery. Unlike these procedures in humans, endoscopic procedures in pets do require general anesthesia, as it is important that the animals are completely still for these procedures.

These procedures are minimally invasive, complications are rare, and they are generally associated with a shorter recovery time and less post-procedural discomfort.

Available Clinical Trials

Study to determine the effectiveness of an herbal supplement in decreasing urine saturation for calcium oxalate

Evaluation of an herbal compound on urinary saturation for calcium oxalate in dogs that have formed calcium oxalate uroliths Investigators: Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN If interested please contact Dr. Bartges (jbartges@uga.edu) or Lisa Reno (lisar@uga.edu) via email. Referring…

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